National cross-country championships
The National cross-country championships were held at the National Sports Campus in Abbottstown, Dublin, last Sunday and there was some great success for Galway athletes, in what is the most competitive event of the season. There was a full juvenile programme for U12 to U18, junior races, and the combined senior clubs and county competitions for ladies and men on the card.
The highlight of the day from a Galway perspective was another great performance from Galway City Harriers junior men’s team, which won the team club's silver medal, under coach Matt Lockett. The squad just missed out on retaining their title to Dublin’s Clonliffe Harriers, but ran their hearts out to win silver.
Thomas McStay led the GCH team home in 14th, with Eanna Folan 19th, Aaron Brennan in 38th, and Barry Murphy in 59th the scorers. Jack Maher, Cillian Jordan, and Rian de Bairead completed the squad. Galway County also won team medals taking bronze with Ben Ryan of Craughwell making the top six to score along with the aforementioned GCH athletes
At juvenile level, Tuam AC U12 girls' won team bronze, via Myah Gallagher leading the team with a great run in 13th place, and she was ably backed up the teammates Danielle Moynihan, Aoibheann Reddington, and Eva Burke the other scorers, who along with team mates Abbi McGrath and Saoirse Hunter, combined brilliantly to secure a hard-earned bronze, Tuam AC U12 boys' team was a creditable sixth overall, while Enda Keane of East Galway ran well to place 13th in the U12 boys' race
Craughwell AC won a superb U16 boys' team bronze, led home by Sean Cotter in 25th, with Ross McGuinness, Oisin Davis, and Luke Burke all combining well to take medals west.
There were other notable performances from the likes of Emma Moore of GCH, who was first Galway U16 girl home in a fine 14th place, stepping up an age group, and Craughwell AC athlete Mathys Bocquet who was Galway’s top male finishers at U14 level placing 33rd overall.
Caron Ryan Of Craughwell AC was first junior lady home for Galway with a solid run to place 16th overall, with Jessica Leane not far behind in 18th for GCH.
At senior level, GCH Senior Ladies won team gold at Grade B in the national clubs cross country competition and are now promoted to the A division after a long absence. The team were led home by Marathon team medallist Jane Ann Meehan, with Aisling Joyce next over the line and Kathryn Casserly and Niamh Hennelly completing the scoring quartet, in what was the highest standard race for many years.
GCH Senior men's team placed 16th club overall in a baptism of fire for a young squad but the competing five of John Moroney, David Carter, Naoise O Gibney, Mike Kerrin, and Niall Murphy all ran strongly and will target the novice cross country in three weeks.
Galway County men's team were ninth county overall with Jamie Fallon of Craughwell top scorer and first Galway man home in 59th place, while Damien O Boyle also of Craughwell AC was another to score for the county squad along with the GCH members.